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Sharon Price, MS, CNS, offers personalized nutrition counseling to help individuals and families navigate the often-complex interplay between food and health— taking a special interest in healthy body composition, gut health, and food allergies. Her goal? To help individuals and families savor good health without feeling enslaved to its pursuit.

What You Eat Changes What You Are

By Sharon Price, MS, CNS

Sharon Price, MS, CNS

We all have “that friend” who’s thriving on a keto/paleo/some-other-O diet—and can’t wait to tell you about it, right? It’s tempting to follow their lead. But following their exact plan won’t guarantee you the same outcome, or even a good one

If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, then the higher-fat keto diet likely won’t suit you. Or perhaps heavier, meat-based meals upset your stomach, so you’ll do better with a more plant-based diet over meat-centric paleo. While these factors are not necessarily genetic, they certainly influence which diets might work best for you.

And then there are cases where genes definitely matter. People who have phenylketonuria (an inborn error of metabolism) can’t eat foods with high protein or specific amino acids—ever. And individuals with celiac disease can’t consume gluten. Consuming the wrong foods can lead to severe health consequences in both cases.

Clearly, genetic differences can shape how you respond to different nutrients. But your genome doesn’t cast the only vote. And it’s not a one-way street—what you eat and how you live can change how your genes are expressed. This means that a genetic possibility might remain just that—a possibility.

Take Alzheimer’s disease. Maybe you know it runs in your family, or you have the APOE genetic variant that signifies increased risk. One of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of Alzheimer’s can be how helpless we feel in the face of it.

But are we? Promising studies indicate that we can stem its progression or even reverse mild cases. One protocol focuses on treating it by optimizing metabolic parameters, just as with any chronic, manageable disease.

The Bredesen protocol customizes 36 potential “levers” according to each person. These levers include diet, targeted supplements (to lower inflammation, optimize nutrient levels, and support cognition), improving gut health, balancing hormones, improving sleep and extending the “rest and repair” phase, reducing toxin build up, and reducing systemic stress.
The good news is that the cumulative impact of these steps will reduce your risk not just for Alzheimer’s Disease, but for many chronic diseases. And, unlike your genome, these levers sit largely within your control!

If that all sounds a bit confusing, that’s where nutrition counseling can help. One of the best parts of the work I do is helping individuals identify the right choices not just for now, but to support long-term wellness. I do that by creating a comprehensive food, lifestyle, and supplement plan optimized for you—not a plan dictated by the latest trends.